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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Finding lost pets


As providers of insurance, our minds are always pondering the things that mean most to our clients—the things that cause them, and us, the most distress when they are lost or harmed. If there's one thing we've come to learn, it's that the intangible things are the ones that are most valuable to us, and also (unfortunately) most difficult to replace. One such valuable is your pet; and while it can be argued that an animal is a tangible thing, your relationship with that particular animal whose unique habits and mannerisms you know and love, is most certainly not. This is why a person who has just lost a pet they have had for ten years is not going to automatically be consoled with a replacement—it simply doesn't work that way.

While we've previously discussed the usefulness of pet insurance in terms of covering veterinary bills and so forth, we know that monetary compensation for a pet that has gone missing is never going to be adequate...so it's worth discussing how best to go about finding a pet when they disappear.

File a report. Sites like www.petlynx.net/lost_pets.php make it easy for you to put together a profile for your missing pet. This profile includes a written description, as well as a photo if you have one available. Doing this gets the word out that your pet is out there somewhere, and enables people to identify it should they come across it.

Make home an easy target. Often when pets go missing, it isn't necessarily that they don't want to return home so much as it is that they don't know how. If you surround the exterior of your home with cues that will help your pet to identify the house as their own home, you increase the likelihood of your pet knowing that this is the place to which they should return if they should happen to wander by. Food and water are a good start, as well as personal articles that smell like home.

Engage in a search. Try to recall your pets habits, and to be on the lookout for places in the neighborurhood that would appeal to them. Be prepared to speak with neighbours in order to enlist whatever help they are willing to offer. It's useful to bring photos with you that you can leave with them, as well as writing implements for exchanging contact information. If your pet has a companion pet in your home, sometimes bring the companion pet along on the search can help increase the likelihood of finding and retrieving the lost pet.

Post fliers. If you are unable to find your pet after your first search, it's a good idea to post fliers as quickly as you can. Keep the information on these fliers concise: only include a photo of the pet, along with its colour, size, and name, and a contact number you can be reached at. (You may prefer to leave a cell phone number in this case). Where should you be posting the fliers? You may be surprised at how far your pet has wandered. A substantial number of missing pets are found more than 25 km away from their homes, so use that as a guideline.

Contact organizations. Vet hospitals in your neighbourhood, as well as animal shelters, are among the best of these to be in touch with, as these are the likely places where a person who may have found your pet would have dropped it off. Visiting frequently (every day if you can) will ensure that you stay on top of new drop-offs, so as not to miss your pet if it does turn up there.

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